How treatment works

There is no mystery to functional low back pain – so how does it work ?

There are two distinct parts to a human body – the Central Nervous System and the body. The brain and the spinal cord make up the CNS they are the processing computer and processing power cable respective ely for all function of the body. Without their instruction no muscles move, no cells divide, no blood flows, no hormones are released, no sensation appreciated, no organs function. The whole of the body is just a vehicle to support these two in their evolutionary niche.

If they become damaged (the brain or cord) then a person will either die or become critically impaired, so they must both be safe at all costs. To this end, the brain exists within an incredibly resilient shock absorbing skull suspended in a membrane of fluid. It can sustain enormous impact.

The cord however, is more vulnerable. It is housed within an axial structure, the bony spine. Which runs the length of the torso and has to articulate. It has 31 joints involving two separate joints above and below each vertebra. At each of these joints it is incredibly vulnerable to trauma by impact, direct percussion or high momentum such a RTA.

It is able to protect itself from such potentially critical injury by contracting the muscles at the affected joint on a reflex basis. A normal peripheral joint muscle reflex such as the knee jerk results from a muscle tendon being overstretched suddenly and reporting this through a nerve to the spinal cord. The cord instantly processes and returns an instruction to the muscle telling it to contract. This is a two way sequence called deep tendon reflex.

When the tiny muscles around the joints of the spine undergo a significant overstretch they similarly warn the cord of the potential threat to itself. The cord instantly processes and returns an instruction to contract the muscle. Then something unique occurs. The muscle spindle reports its state of being to the cord as being restricted and debilitated. The cord then returns a further instruction to sustain the contraction and protect the joint. So a neurological feedback loop is engaged called a reflex arc.

This is an effective failsafe for the cord. When a system fails to safe it shuts itself down absolutely and does not reinstate itself. This is why the spinal cord employs self sustained reflex protection indefinitely to prevent a potentially critical outcome. Subsequently the spine accommodates these restrictions by adapting to the limited vector of movement forming side forward backward bending curves. Eventually, the restricted joints within the central mast of the body begin to pull through the muscles that originate on the spine and anchor on the pelvis.

So that one day through apparently disproportionate or innocuous movements the spine transpose the strain through to the sacro iliac joints and disrupts the union between the pelvis and the sacrum. Thus, low back pain begins with all ist associated symptoms.

The spine pulling against the pelvis puts pressure on the nerve roots exiting the small foraminal holes exiting the bony spine. These then commute pain to the limbs, or more commonly tightens the muscles which in turn pull on tendons. Tendons join muscle to bone and consequently traverse the joints, so people believe they have a joint problem such as a frozen shoulder, cartilage damage or ligament strain in the knee; or heel and foot point from arthritis or gout. In all my experience it is extremely rare to see genuine arthritis, rheumatism or gout. These problems are predominately tendon pain which produce incredible pain stiffness and swelling to joints. These will often demonstrate good days in remission and then return acutely.

When I treat someone presenting with these joint pains, the treatment is complete only when the pain has gone. This demonstrates to the patient that there is no disease in its causation. This is done by adjusting the correct part of the spine where the affected nerve is commuting this message. Once again the patient is the judge. The aim of the treatment is absolute. You know when it is completed when the pain is gone. It just takes skill, conviction, perseverance and willingness to be accountable.